Online retail sales of non-food products in the UK increased by 12.1% in October 2013, as compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data released by British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG.

Lat year in October, online sales of non-food increased by 7.3% over the previous year.

In October, online sales represented 18.3% of total non-food sales. Excluding online sales, clothing and footwear registered a decline in October for the third month in a row.

The agency noted that October’s double digit online sales growth helped the three-month average reach its highest level since February. Other non-food contributed over two thirds of the growth, which is seen as an encouraging sign for Christmas.

Online sales contributed 1.4% points to the growth of non-food total sales last month. In the last three months, the contribution averaged 1.3% points – over a third of the total non-food growth.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said the share of non-food sales made online hit new heights in October, showing the highest ever penetration rate.

The month saw wide ranges of festive products and gift ideas hitting the shelves as retailers readied themselves for the countdown to Christmas, and many shoppers valued the choice and convenience that came with browsing and buying online, as well as the opportunity to pre-order some of the key releases planned for November.

"It’s expected that many of us will ‘click into Christmas’ more than ever before this year, and retailers have invested significantly in user friendly websites, fast deliveries and convenient ways of buying in-store, at home or on the move. These figures are an encouraging sign that these improvements are striking a chord with customers."